An evening with Ann Cleeves


Ann Cleeves will be interviewed by Adrian Pitches from BBC Look North as she returns to The Word to discuss her newest and most gripping novel yet – The Seagull.

The Seagull is Ann Cleeves’ searing eighth novel in the bestselling Vera Stanhope series, about corruption deep in the heart of a community, and about fragile, and fracturing, family relationships.

During this insightful event Ann will read a section of her new book and discuss the secrets that inspired her. There will also be a Q&A section where members of the audience can ask her questions they’ve been dying to know the answer to.

Prior to Ann’s talk, David Hirst from Tynemouth Fine Art Gallery will discuss Painter of the Tyne, an exhibition of paintings by Peter Burns. The paintings depict the vanished world of the Tyneside Shipyards, the character of the people who worked there, and the trades of the ship builders. Ann  chose one of Peter’s paintings of a shipyard worker as her ‘Favourite Painting’ in Country Life magazine.  She felt that her character Vera would empathise with him as he obviously took more pride in his work than in his crumpled clothing.

A preview of the exhibition will begin at 6.15pm before Ann takes to the stage at 7pm.

Copies of Ann’s new book will be on sale at the event.

About Ann Cleeves

Ann Cleeves is one of Britain’s most successful crime fiction novelists, Her bestselling books are loved in print and on screen: both the Vera Stanhope and Shetland series are now major TV adaptations on ITV and BBC One respectively.

About The Seagull

A visit to her local prison brings DI Vera Stanhope face to face with an old enemy: former detective superintendent, and now inmate, John Brace. Brace was convicted of corruption and involvement in the death of a gamekeeper – and Vera played a part in his downfall.

Brace promises Vera information about the disappearance of Robbie Marshall, a notorious wheeler-dealer, if she will look out for his daughter and grandchildren. He tells her that Marshall is dead, his body buried close to St Mary’s Island in Whitley Bay. However, when a search team investigates, officers find not one skeleton, but two.

This cold case takes Vera back in time, and very close to home, as Brace and Marshall, along with a mysterious stranger known only as ‘the Prof’, were close friends of Hector, her father. Together, they were ‘the Gang of Four’, and Hector had been one of the last people to see Marshall alive. Vera must confront her prejudices and unwanted memories to dig out the truth, as the past begins to collide dangerously with the present . . .

About Peter Burns: Painter of the Tyne Shipyards

An exhibition of paintings by Peter Burns that depict the vanished world of the Tyneside shipyards; the character of the people who worked there, and the trades of the ship builders.  With the first-hand experience of a plater who spent all his working life in the ship building industry, Peter has captured on canvas the life of the Tyneside shipyards and the characters of his fellow workers.

In 1978 a secondment from Swan Hunter to British Shipbuilders gave Peter a unique opportunity to visit and paint in shipyards throughout the north of England over a period of 18 months. This project resulted in an exhibition of his work at the Northumbria University Gallery.

Peter’s work has featured in several books including Where the Wall Ends and in the Shipyard Muddling collections of poetry of his friend and work colleague, the late Jack Davitt.

Dame Catherine Cookson sat for Peter in the 1980s when he completed a series of drawings and sketches for her. More recently North-East crime novelist, Ann Cleeves, chose one of Peter’s paintings of a shipyard worker as her ‘Favourite Painting’ in Country Life magazine.

This is the first time that Peter’s paintings have been exhibited at The Word and many of the paintings in this exhibition have never been exhibited previously.

The exhibition is presented in association with Tynemouth Fine Art

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